The Poet Community

Mortimer’s Problem | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Forgiving someone
has never been a problem
for old Mortimer.

Mort’s forgiven folks
for years, some twice
a day, so forgiveness

is like breathing.
It comes easily for him.
His problem is

forgetting what the
forgiven party did.
That’s impossible,

Mort told his therapist.
His father crossed him
back in kindergarten

and Mort forgave him
but recounts the incident
every time he takes two

carnations to the cemetery.
And that big kid, Walt,
who sat on Mort’s head

playing prairie football
back in grammar school.
Mort met Walt again

at the 50th class reunion
and Mort was pleased
he had forgiven Walt.

Mort told him he hopes
Walt wins the lottery
and goes to heaven.

Mort didn’t say he hopes
Walt gets to heaven long
before he wins the lottery.


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